CSPC: Janet Jackson Popularity Analysis

janet jackson 2

You have been voting in your numbers on voting at Chartmasters.org for your favorite artist to be studied with the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept. The promise was that artists winning each category would be covered within a few weeks. On political campaigns, commitments aren’t always completed but our site is fully aiming to respect them! Among artists with a mid-sized discography, Janet Jackson received half of the votes – 297 out of 592 as of now – the highest total of any artists from all categories making it natural to start filling your wishes by working on her statistics!

It is a mystery to nobody that the American superstar hasn’t been doing headlines for many years. The little sister of Michael Jackson is more than a famous sibling or a faded rising star. Her discography spans 33 years from 1982 to 2015. Along the way she topped the US charts with 10 singles and 7 albums, proving a real selling power.

Albums like Control and Rhythm Nation 1814 are often claimed to be 14 million sellers each while 1993 set Janet. is supposed to be a 20 million seller. Regular readers of our website are certainly questioning those tallies though as they know how often inflated figures flood the internet, especially when the popular divas a la Madonna, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston or Celine Dion are concerned. Her chart toppers are completely legitimate so she must have sold a good chunk of units with various of her records. What is the truth then? Where does Janet Jackson rank inside the all-time divas list?

As usual, I’ll be using the Commensurate Sales to Popularity Concept in order to relevantly gauge her results. The concept will not only bring you sales information for all Janet Jackson albums, physical singles, download singles, music videos and streaming, it will also accurately weight all this information to conclude her true popularity. If you are not yet familiar with the CSPC idea, the next page explains it with a short video, I fully recommend you to watch it before getting onto the sales figures. Of course, if you are a regular visitor feel free to skip the video and get into the figures. Let’s go!

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:) S

Janet sold less than I expected. I remember vivid claims from various people of album sales from 100 to 160 million… but that is clearly not realistic.
59,6 million is not bad but when you compare it to the other big 80’s and 90’s stars it pales in comparison. But Janet has had an impressive career for her standards.
Thanks for your analysis, very interesting 🙂

Wibisana

The estimation of 160M sales is actually came from her record sales (albums+singles). Her album sales estimation is around 90M worldwide (with shipments and streaming equivalent sales). Janet’s 80’s and 90’s albums are need to be re-certified, that is why her sales seem so low.

Joe

Um Billboard even stated way back in 1997 that “Control” and “Rhythm Nation” both sold 14 million and the “janet.” album sold over 20 million. The Velvet Rope sold 10 million worldwide also. We’ll believe Billboard over you. That’s almost 60 million from just 4 albums and Sales haven’t been updated since. For you to say her being at 90 million or even 100 million isn’t possible is absurd. Mind you her BMG catalog sales aren’t even being included. Mariah’s “Music Box” and “Daydream” albums have only sold over 7 million in the U.S. but they are certified Diamond which… Read more »

:) S

To Wibisana:
90 million? Very inflated. And it’s not like Janet is selling much in catalog sales so most of her certs are probably correct, well except for her U.S sales …

RyanS

Time to do Janet’s brother Mike!!!

Trish

Thank you for adding DOAD, MJD! 🙂 Like Raffi said, it’d be cool to have a list of best selling international females in Japan. Where would Janet rank? Based on your other articles, only Madonna, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, and Britney Spears have outsold her. As far as other females go, I know Cyndi Lauper and Enya have sold a lot in Japan, and Mariah Carey is obviously the biggest seller.

Japan seems to be Janet’s biggest international market, even bigger than the UK!

Raffi

Hey MJD! Janet’s one of my favorite artists, so I was pretty hyped when I saw that you completed this analysis! While going through her album sales, I was a bit apprehensive on whether you underestimated them as less than a decade ago you had Control above 10m, All For You at 6,7m etc. I’m more surprised by TVR as you had it at 8,5m a year ago on you Fake 10m sellers article. What caused the big decrease? Still, I respect your work and you have several label reports to back up your claim, so I can’t argue with… Read more »

Raffi

Hey MJD!

One more question I would like to ask: Are the claims of Janet’s immense success in South Africa true? I’ve heard claims that That’s The Way Love Goes is the best selling single by a female artist there, and that the Janet. album is the best selling album by a foreign act there with 300k sold. Are any of those true. Perhaps you could provide some album sales figures for her in South Africa so we can see how successful she was there?

Please and Thank You!

Raffi

Hi again MJD! One final question I forgot to ask!

In terms of her 40m+ physical singles sales, how many of them comes from the US?

Thank You!

Bojan

Given that she had 5 sold out shows in South Africa, including 3 largest stadiums, it’s probably truth.

Anthony Blanchard

Hello Raffi!
To complete MJD’s answer, here is the list of artists who have the most million selling singles (question 2):
1. Madonna – 38
2. Beatles – 31
3. Rolling Stones – 28
4. Janet Jackson – 24
4. Whitney Houston – 24
6. Bee Gees – 21
7. ABBA – 20
8. David Bowie – 15
9. George Michael – 13
10. Bon Jovi – 12
10. Céline Dion – 12
10. Fleetwood Mac – 12

celiniac

Hey, according with Chartmasters analyses Céline has more than 15 songs that sold at least 1m, not only 12: Mhwgo, Because You Loved Me, It’s all coming back to me now, The Power Of Love, I’m your angel, Think Twice, All By Myself, Beauty and The Beast, A new day has come, Pour que tu m’aimes encore, That’s The way it is, To Love You more, I’m alive, Tell Him, Immortality & Taking Chances (her less sold with 1,150,000), these are her 16 best selling singles… Despite the fact she may have some 1m topping singles.comment image

Bojan

I don’t know what are you talking about. With exception of “Like A Virgin” and “True Blue”, Janet’s sales were very similar to Madonna’s. Madonna only released much more albums.

Sam Osler

What?
Madonna’s self titled debut album DESTROYED Janet’s worldwide.

LAP outsold RN worldwide

ROL outsold TVR worldwide

MUSIC outsold AFY worldwide

AL outsold DJ worldwide

COADF destroyed 20 YO worldwide

HC outsold DISCIPLINE worldwide

RH outsold UNBREAKABLE worldwide

The ONLY time Janet whipped Madonna worldwide with album sales was with her Janet album up against BOTH Madonna’s Erotica and Bedtime Stories albums. 1992-1995 if you will.
These are statistical sales FACTS, you’re embarrassing yourself.

djdj

Janet is actually possible to sell 6xPlatinum in South Africa, since in 80s Janet perform at 3 largest stadiums there with 220k attendences. According to your own estimation, Thriller ultimately sold 450k copies, Janet didn’t outsold. Also, FIY sold over 650k copies and LTAL sold over 500k copies there, “there is no way an album like xxx outsold thriller”sometimes don’t work, especially thriller only sold 50k copies in Korea and 140k copies in Taiwan, because markets are small back then.

djdj

Not actually, for example,in Taiwan Bad outsold Thriller, they were released in the same era. We do also have to focus on market size, since even All For You can sell 200k copies in South Africa, why can’t Janet sold 300k copies? She performed at three largest stadiums with 220k attendence back in 80s, in 00s All For You stil sell 200k copies, it means she never flopped there. Janet may be just out of the world in South Africa then, I know Thriller is one of the best selling albims everywhere, but still in some markets it may be… Read more »

Ethan

Wow, i always thought Janet had a bigger career. Im not a hater at all, but let’s be honest, her sales are very underwhelming for someone who debuted in the 80s and was peers with Madonna, Prince, Michael Jackson, Mariah Carey, Shania Twain, Whitney Houston and Celine Dion! She sold less in 35 years than Britney Spears sold with 4 albums, and her total sales are lower than Beyonce’s with Destinys Child….. and while theyre still not bad by any means, I dont think its fair to put Janet in the same category as her peers. One thing I gotta… Read more »

Raffi

You are quite right MJD! Janet’s weakness was really that she didn’t have a global seller like her peers, and that she released very few albums during her peak. However, regarding the comparison with Mariah, I still believe Mariah is by far the more successful act. If you look at album sales only, and that we remove Music Box from Mariah’s discography, Daydream alone was a successful to monster seller in the 3 biggest continents, and that album alone has sold more than Control and RN1814 combined. Mariah also has 2 additional studio albums that sold upwards of 13m copies… Read more »

Gloria

I disagree. She is in the league of Britney or Shania Twain in the USA (40-45 million albums equivalent). Mariah and Madonna sold the double there. But she was trully big.
Why do you think she wasnt so big in Europe?

tianna

Exactly, her numbers are bigger. This is bogus.

cbvnm

I’m not sure why you’re bringing in Britney Spears to undermine Janet Jackson though. I’m glad that Britney has had a lot of success but let’s not forget that Britney’s peak years, the TRL era 1999-2004) were filled with imitating Janet Jackson in her music videos/tours that sold all those albums. So she obviously owes Janet Jackson as much as Madonna.

Mat

I think was Madonna. Brit made Madonna’s cover and much more.

Bojan

Britney performed “Black Cat” on her first tour. Britney’s way of dancing is so Janet and not that much in style of Madonna. Britney’s music, though, is not even near as good and important as Janet’s or even Madonna’s. Your art is what makes you legendary and imortal, not comercial success and records. That comes and goes and average people don’t even think about that aspect. That being said, Janet’s place in history is cemented long ago, but I’m not sure about Britney. She’s like Paula Abdul to me. But that’s the other story.

but

I love Janet, I really do. I recognize and admit that she is Britney’s biggest influence and idol. At my school, I ask students all the time about her so I can discuss her albums and performances with them but their answer is unfortunately almost always “I don’t know who that is” and sometimes I get (a rather shady) “MJ’s sister” as an answer but in that case they never know a single song from her. Her catastrophic Youtube and Spotify streaming further confirms that her catalogue of hits is forgotten. She is unfortunately not as cemented, immortal and legendary… Read more »

Bojan

Canada, Japan, Oceania, Africa… That’s all outside the USA, not only Europe. And Janet is huge there. Just like Britney, Janet had huge tours and stadium shows at all continents. Actually Janet had bigger world tours than Madonna until 2004, in both attendance, number of countries visited and gross. It’s just that Janet became a superstar 15 years earlier than Britney, so we’ll talk about Britney and how many people can name any of her songs in 2033. Right now, if you talk with kids, she’s already a stranger to the most of them. They weren’t even born when she… Read more »

Jazmine

Bojan, what kind of non sense are you talking about? First of all whether you write your own songs or not, doesn’t take your credibility as an artist at all. A singer should sing and perform first, if you can write your own songs it is good but not mandatory. Barbra Streisand, The Beattles, Whitney Houston doesn’t right their own songs. But please dont tell me shit such as Janet is a better accomplished artist then them, because she’s not. It is facts that Britney is bigger than her in Europe, Asia, Latin America, Canada, Australia. Just look at their… Read more »

Anonymous

Jazmine,
Don’t even bother. He is clueless. So many Janet fans get so butthurt when people point out she was NEVER a global superstar the way Madonna, Whitney, Mariah and Celine were. And in typical defensive fashion, they will not use any data to back up their argument. Listen–I like Janet and her influence is actually huge compared to low sales. That’s a compliment. But let’s not make her something she clearly is not.

Unbreakable

This was a really good read! Thanks a lot for this amazing post 🙂 I’m not gonna lie, I wish Janet’s sales were closer to the likes of Madonna/Whitney/Mariah, but she’s nearing 60m albums and that’s a very impressive feat no matter what.

Luminator

Hey MJ,

did you miss her remix album “janet. remixed”?, which did have some respectable success in the UK for example. I couldn’t find it under “Full Length related records Sales”, where you do have “Control: The Remixes”?

Otherwise thankds for the superb work again and I’m impatiently waiting for Mariah….. 😉

Glory

Hi, awesome job! I have a small question, how did you arrive at 100k for “Control” in Australia? Its chart run was rather weak and it’s not even certified Gold

48-49-31-29-26-25-31-25-30-31-34-35-40 44-43-48

Just wondering haha. Awesome job regardless.

Mat

Wow! I thought Janet had big sales… but im mistake.

Please! Can you edit Madonna’s profile? With her compilations albums country by country?

Thank you!

I love your work!

The next! Mariah!

Trish

Thank you so much for doing this! I’ve been waiting on a Janet article for a while! I must say, I expected her totals to be higher (mostly because of fans inflating sales, as it happens with every artist), but her sales are still very respectable and consistent up until some point. Nice to see Janet. nearing 20 million CSPC, hopefully it will get there one day although it’s unlikely right now. Do you think you can share your breakdown for Design Of A Decade? I’d love to know its individual sales in Europe, Asia, etc. Also, amazing job once… Read more »

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